Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Across the world, as energy prices soar, traditional inefficient light bulbs are quickly changing from being the norm to to being seen as an outmoded way of lighting your home. But most homes still have at least some, and the easiest way of cutting down on your energy bills is to simply unscrew them and replace them with more energy efficient bulbs.

But with so many options in energy efficient light bulbs, sometimes it can be a challenging choice. There's so many different technologies that can produce light how do you know which to go for? And with different shades of light being offered the choice gets even harder, and it's no wonder that some want to keep the old inefficient bulbs they know work and produce a lighting hue they're used to.

The traditional form of light was the tungsten filament bulb. These were terribly inefficient, using only roughly 5% of the energy they consumed to make light. Most of the rest went in heat, often which you could feel if you put your hand anywhere near the bulb after it had been on for a while. The technology in them was over a century old and was crying out for a refresh.

Similar to the tungsten filament bulbs in their inefficiency were the halogen bulbs often used in spot lights. While they are more efficient, they are often over used and thus rooms lit by them often use more electricity and cost more to light than tungsten bulbs.

The modern alternatives include compact fluorescent bulbs. These use tubes filled with a gas which glows when an electric current is passed through it. Generally they contain a coating which gives them the white light we are used to. Originally they came in a rather industrial looking design that many homeowner weren't fans of, especially as they often were too big for their lamp shades. Luckily you can now get them in all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit whatever style suits your home. It's even possible to use them as spotlights, although they are typically more expensive and harder to get hold of than LEDs for this purpose.

The traditional complaint against compact fluorescent bulbs is that they took time to reach their full lighting output. While the time they take has improved, the technology is limited and they still don't reach full brightness as soon as you turn them on. Early versions were known for flickering, although this has now been ironed out and if you've got a bulb that is flickering it's a dud and needs to be sent back for a replacement.

The other major efficient technology is LED, which stands for light emitting diode. LEDs are nothing new and many people have associations with small lights in electronic devices being LEDs. The technology that powers these ultra-low powered lights can be stepped up to provide lighting for almost any setting. The production generally is quite expensive so the bulbs might seem a big step up from your purchase of traditional light bulbs, but they last far longer often with guarantees on their life span, so you will be making a long term investment by purchasing them.